Sunday, February 8, 2009

Raygun Contest!

Every boy dreams of owning a raygun, and as a soon-to-be grandfather, I have tapped back into my boyhood fantasies. I decided I had to build my own rayguns after being inspired by the works of Tinkerbots and Greg Broadmore of WETA Workshop. The Raughnold Model 81 is my first gun.

Following Tinkerbots example, I have created the raygun by assembling found objects, along with some parts I’ve fabricated. It is a marvelously challenging art form: Bringing together disparate objects into something new—a process through which the individual parts disappear into the whole. Part of making it all work together for me is adding bits and pieces to help disguise the original parts so that there is no distraction.

The Contest

I have intentionally not shown the gun in progress as I wanted to hold a contest in which you, the viewers, attempt to guess which found objects I used. In the model 81 there are five objects that I can identify. All were acquired at either a yard sale or a thrift shop. The first person who can correctly identify all five objects will win one of the rayguns, which I am selling on Etsy for $95.

Anyone can participate. Submit the list of your five objects as a comment. If after one week no one has correctly identified all five objects, then I will give out a clue. Each week that passes without a winner will lead to another clue. Please submit only one guess per week. After I have given a clue you are welcome to guess again. The contest will continue until someone correctly guesses the five objects.

Clue #1: None of the objects are gears, nuts, bolts etc.

The Story

We have here an extremely rare raygun manufactured in the late 19th century by the Swedish manufacturer Raughnold. This is their model 81, famous for its sleek lines and fine balance, coupled with its extremely effective vaporizing ray. The functioning of the raygun is not well understood, but we do know that the power generator in the center of the gun sends a ray through the pulse delineator which is amplified by the particle accelerator.

Measuring over 14” long, this beauty is solidly built, yet light enough to be handled even by those of the feminine persuasion. From the particle accelerator nozzle all the way to the rear exhaust port, this raygun exudes quality. The gun is cast in resin, with a hand-stitched leather grip. A custom wet-formed leather holster will be available soon.


  1. You can click on the individual photos to see better detail.

  2. I wouldn't even try to guess,it came together so seamlessly. Fabulous work!

  3. The first entry comes in from Drac: "I couldn't reply there, so I'll do it here. very snazzy and innovative, btw! wooden stool leg, high heeled shoe, air nozzle, castle chess piece, lamp pull chain weight."

  4. I'm gonna go with a wooden stool leg, air nozzle for an airbrush, an old airbrush body, a castle chess piece, and the top of a flashlight.

  5. Wooden stool leg, super-glue cap, rook, flashlight top, and an oil lamp

  6. Greetings Tom! This is such a beautiful creation!
    Well, lets see...
    Starting from the back I whould say that you have a rook chess piece then a nice little part from a lamp. Next is a beautiful smaller sink faucet possibly from a bathroom. Next it appears to be a "knob" from a television or a stove... Then ending up with a candlestick holder as the barrel... Great fun!!

  7. I'm going to take a stab at this because I want this gun so badly. I'm guessing the following (front to back): An airbrush or maybe a torch nozzle, a chair or table leg, a knob that could be from a safe, a faucet, the upper part of a outdoor lamp fixture (maybe gas fueled or made to look like gas). I know there no chance I'm right but I gave it a shot!

  8. Ok I'll take a shot. Front front to back, an air nozzle, a piano stool leg, the channel changer knob from an old TV, a faucet, an old door knob with the end removed and a rook chess piece. I know that's six but I had to throw in the last one, it was so obvious.

  9. rook, gas inlet from a bunsen burner, part of a vintage fishing rod reel, leg from a vintage piece of furniture, part of a vintage door knob? I just really want the gun =D

  10. Hmm I'll go with the rook, part of a stair banister, volume or similar control knob, faucet, and a handle.
    No idea what that fin is!
    This is completely and utterly thrilling work, Tom.

  11. I'm really enjoying reading all the guesses in the contest! They're all so different and possible :D

  12. Many thanks to everyone who has participated. There is no winner yet. When there is, I will announce it immediately. If, by Sunday Feb 15 there is still no winner I will post several clues to help. Please check back then to submit another guess.

  13. Oh man, I have no idea...I'll ponder it and get back to you, but man, that is AWESOME!!!!

  14. Awww *headdesk* back to the guessing board!

  15. *WANT*

    This from both me and my Raygun-obsessed brother, Skyeboy:

    The barrel is a desk lamp stem
    The handle is a sink faucet
    The power generator is a dial, perhaps from a vintage oven like a Wedgewood?
    The particle accelerator is a tip off a torch
    Exhaust port is a rook chess piece

  16. OK,I saw the first clue and I'm ready to give this another try.

    particle accelerator: nozzle
    pulse delineator: furniture leg
    grip: faucet
    exhaust port 1: light finial
    exhaust port 2: chess piece

    Until the next clue!

  17. OK, I've thought it over and I'm going to take another stab at it.

    Again front to back, an air nozzle, a lamp, a channel changer knob, a faucet and the base of a candle stick plus the chess piece.

  18. I have posted new clues here

    CJ Grand, apparently you missed the new clues. Sorry for any confusion. You can resubmit your guess.

  19. I have posted a fourth clue today

  20. Hey Tom, here's my guess:
    Particle Accelerator- air nozzel
    Pulse Detineator- body of a lamp
    Leather Grip/Handle- sink faucet
    Exahst Port- trophy base and a chess piece/rook

  21. We have a winner!